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maldonadopresser.jpgAbel Maldonado, who is preparing to challenge Gov. Jerry Brown in next year's gubernatorial race, finished the first half of the year about $3,348 in debt, while the Democratic governor further padded his multi-million fundraising advantage, according to financial statements filed Wednesday.

In a statement filed after 9 p.m. on the reporting deadline, Maldonado reported raising $314,222 and spending $317,570 in the first six months of the year. The Republican former lieutenant governor had $44,595 in cash on hand, with outstanding debts of $47,943.

Between mid-April and June, Maldonado spent more than $185,000 on campaign consultants and another $48,000 on office expenses. His non-monetary contributions included $18,147 from himself for the campaign's use of his personal plane.

Brown raised $2.8 million and spent far less than Maldonado in the first half of the year, posting $31,526 in expenditures and an ending cash balance of more than $10 million.

Brown has not yet said if he will seek re-election, but he is widely expected to run. In heavily Democratic California, even Republicans believe the third-term governor will be extraordinarily difficult to defeat.

Brown's donors include labor unions, Indian gambling interests, oil companies and other businesses. He appears to appeal to the entertainment industry, as well, receiving $27,200 donations each from Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen and Kate Capshaw on a single day in June.

Big-name contributors to Maldonado include Stephen Bechtel Jr., GOP activist Charles Munger Jr., former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and Mike Curb, who sparred with Brown decades ago, when Curb was lieutenant governor and Brown was governor before.

Another Republican who is considering a gubernatorial run, Twin Peaks Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, reported raising $83,148 in the first half of the year.

PHOTO: Abel Maldonado speaks to reporters in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua



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